Since the election of He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN) the word “narcissism” has probably been “googled” millions of times. As for me, I had already a deep understanding of narcissism long before HWSNBN appeared in the political limelight.
The Evil X (of song and legend) was a narcissist. Watching HWSNBN debating Hilarity, and seeing him speak, sent shivers of “America, for the love of god, don’t vote for this guy!” down my spine. I saw everything the Evil X had done to distort my perception of reality and turn me into his slave.
But the Evil X was not my only experience being the slave of a narcissist. My mom…
She’s been dead since 1996, and almost every day since that equivocal event I’ve had one more realization about her, us, even her childhood. One of my mom’s favorite refrains was, “You’re so selfish. You need to learn to think about other people.” This, over and over and over and over… Now I know I was hearing echoes of my grandma admonishing my mother. I’m not selfish. I’ve never been selfish. Besides, what does that mean to a five year old who’s barely discovered the external world?
Like all narcissists, my mom tapped into the mentalities of others very quickly, and she saw right away that I am a peace-loving, very sensitive, creative person who wants to get along with and please others. And, my flaws. Narcissists are very good at identifying those, too, and amplifying their size and importance in order to cast blame. Narcissists are also very good at convincing others that they’re the shit.
My mom’s world was very small as a result of this. Everything that happened happened to HER. That her sisters’ husbands hadn’t died in their 40s, and they were still couples doing things together, was not my aunts’ good luck, but my mom’s bad luck. Rather than be happy for them — and join in as she was always invited to do — she resented them. She didn’t look at them objectively and see their struggles. Over time, her lonely hole got deeper, smaller, darker, and then she was buried in it.
The narcissist has a very hard time being sure of his/her basic existence because they don’t have an appropriate relationship with the external world. Deep down they have a vast pool of insecurity. My mom knew there was something missing in her connection to the world and needed constant reassurance from others that she was there. Narcissists cannot find their own happiness; it must come from others, and, in my mom’s case, when this wasn’t coming, she became a sadistic bully.
I’m amused watching some of the players on the international stage dealing with the Narcissist in Power. Macron kisses up, holds hands, does all zees French sings that feed the bottomless ego of HWSNBN then, in a speech to Congress, contravenes the policies of HWSNBN. Macron KNOWS that the policies exist not from a deep core of beliefs but the need of HWSNBN to please his power base and stay on top. Merkel just gets it over with and goes back to her life. Asian cultures revolve around “saving face” so pandering to the ego of a narcissist is natural for them.
Hip surgery update: Healing continues. It’s pretty boring around here without the dogs, but I still don’t feel safe about having them around and all that means (Bear on my lap, protective pads on the floor, walks). The staples come out day after tomorrow. I have to figure out a way to take a shower — just the the quotidian annoyances of the process that require patience and faith. I’m so glad I live in this FLAT, pretty, friendly, redolent with lilacs and iris little city where, if I go outside to walk, someone will wish me well. It is immensely cheering. ❤